Holiday Torment

Its a cold day, this time brings a different kind of weather. Its Christmas time, a time of optimism and joy. A time where we can smile and be happy. A time of hope, a time of peace, love and caring. But somehow I cannot feel the spirit of it. This is the first time I can’t even feel it. For the first time in maybe years or ever, I am not looking forward to it.

I wake up everyday with a heavy heart. Every time I open my eyes I feel like its torture, torture that I have to go through all the pain, all day and its not easy. Its not easy, going through the motions, pretending I’m OK but I’m really not. I sometimes find myself sitting somewhere just staring at something but seeing nothing but complete emptiness, even with colorful Christmas decorations and music blaring over loud speakers I still see emptiness. I’m broken, I’m in shambles, forgotten, unappreciated. I guess if you’ve been reading my blog then you know what I’m talking about. Its been like this for the past few months.

I never got a chance to talk to her face to face, we just exchanged messages, somehow she still blames me for her episodes, she blames me for a lot of things and I cannot get my point across, she wouldn’t listen she wouldn’t even give a fuck’s ass whenever I tried to explain things. She wouldn’t listen, mind’s made up. She did blame me for everything, every negative things I’ve done resurfaced without considering how much I’ve given up, how much I sacrificed, never had a chance to say all those things, as if I haven’t done anything positive. It was a whole new level of torment, a torment that eats me away, bothers me, a pain that continues to thrive whenever I wake in the morning.  The kind of torment that makes me wish I never wake up. The kind of pain that I wish she killed me, because I’d rather die than experience all this pain.

People would tell me to give it up, but I’m holding on to whatever hope that is left. No matter how big or small, even a tiny speck of hope is what keeps me sane. If I lose all that then what would life be for me. I hope that one day I turn around, she’s there behind me sleeping, I hope that one day I go home from work and she’s there waiting for me in my bed room. I hope we can be together again, because I’d rather live with her through and face the challenges the world will throw at me, bravely face whatever episodes she will have  and comfort her, I’d rather have an unproductive life with you than be sitting down sun bathing in a resort somewhere with someone and live a lie. If its not her then I’d rather be alone. I won’t let go, never. I’d rather be alone if I’m not with her.

I’ve given everything, and I can still give a lot. If she wants me to change anew, then I’ll change. I love her so much. I love her with all my heart, I don’t want to give up. I’d rather be stuck in this kind of torment.

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Every Little Thing

 

Its rainy, even nature shares my mood. I’ve never been OK, never been close to it since last August. I can smile, enjoy the usual routine but every day seems like a new kind of pain. I encounter a new kind of loneliness and emptiness.

You see, people tell me to move on, let it be, I’ll meet new people, new reason to smile. They tell me not to be with someone who they felt will drag me down. Their advice was to be with someone that will take to better heights, and will appreciate all my efforts and all my sacrifices. Maybe they’re right, maybe I should move on, carry on and be happy again. Yet, I find myself longing for her everyday, every hour, every minute, every second more.

One day I told them, I never asked for recognition for all those things, I never asked for anything in return just love and may be a bit of loyalty. That’s all I asked for her. That’s all, nothing more. She’s the woman that I love. If I loose her forever then I’d rather be alone for eternity. I am convinced that she’s the woman for me. If I ever get a chance to relive my life a million times then, I’ll find her through heaven or hell in every million lives that will be given to me. I will endure pain, death, war, pestilence, a zombie apocalypse, an alien invasion just to find her. There is no force that stop me from loving her.

The Dream that Made Me Cry

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Where do I start? I don’t even know where. I can’t even find the words, find the right things to say. I wonder as I stare into a bleak horizon, and ask myself, will I even find the right words. My thoughts are clouded, yet all I can do is wait. I’ve suffered too much, while the other wined and dined in happiness. In pain, I’ve lost myself again. In anguish I’ve lost my will. I don’t know where to find myself.

As I sat here alone, restless and may be helpless. I find myself thinking of her. I find myself thinking of her. I find myself longing for her. I find myself dreaming of her. I did dreamt of her. I did, yes I did. I remember rushing down the stairs not minding how steep they are, not minding the harm it could cause me, and as I finally took my last step I saw her waiting, smiling at me, she was sitting at our wooden sofa, around her was a half dozen throw pillows in different shades or brown. She was wearing a blue dress, the one she wore when we attended a friend’s wedding. I slowly approached her, she stood up, again smiling, she walked towards me, and I noticed she was a bit taller, wearing that shoes that made her an inch and a half taller. I hugged her, told her how beautiful she is and hugged her even more. Then I woke up punching my bed, punching my wall. I woke up crying. I woke up a broken man. I woke up empty, wishing I never woke up, wishing I stayed in that state. I was happy. I was complete. It was taken from me, I had her in my arms, I had her again.

Sometimes I find myself stuck, stuck here in my room thinking of how things could have been different. I sometimes blame myself for all the crap that I’m in and why I’m lost and broken. Even my will is sapped, my confidence broken, I don’t even know what to do, do I wait? Do I make a stand and take action? I guess I have to reflect.

On A Pale Moonlight

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Door to Nowhere by Ben Folds Photography

 

Remember the feeling of being, well helpless I guess. Trying to find answers to questions you cannot answer. Sometimes its not even questions, you find yourself uncertain. Uncertain on how the events can unfold.

The future can be a paradox, a mystery, a riddle and a locked door while old Fate is standing right in the corner dangling the keys to that door. Sometimes the outcome can suck, sometimes its not, it depends on how you play it. Sometimes you have to break in order get the outcome that you want. Nothing to do but follow through, journey begins whatever the outcome is. But then again most of us would find a way to turn things around.

Its also normal, I guess to cower in fear, in fear of everything falling apart. Maybe Fate can be the darkness, the thunder, that comes from hell and pull you under. I may end up going home, drunk, broken, perhaps you happen to fall of a gutter, smack my head so hard it bled, or just plain stinky while listening to Behind Blue Eyes. I am afraid, I am afraid to dance with the devil in a pale moon light. I guess there’s nothing wrong if I cower, I’d be spared in perhaps the biggest torment in my life. I also think asking Fate to open the door might set me free. I guess, I have to……

You can visit Ben Folds Photography here. link

Reading Empty Pages

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Picture belongs to Pezibear of Pixabay.com

 

Things, well no not things, maybe it is things. So things have not been well, months long (amateur) writer’s block and a lot of other things have happened. I guess things have not been working to me, or whatever. I don’t know shit happens, but this is a different kind of shit, a much smellier pile, putrid, disgusting and absolutely hideous.

Somehow I can’t even see the sun in the sky, the birds in the trees, hear the music that plays on the radio, and a lot of other things. For me those were just images, sounds, animation or I can just write it up to imagination. My mind is blank, in shock maybe as I try to recall things that got me stranded here, at this very moment, a place where the sun doesn’t shine, a place where there are no birds and even music. Darkness once again managed to creep behind me, tapped my shoulder and punched me in the face. It sucks, and of course admittedly partly I am to blame for this, just one innocent fuck up that brought the whole stack crumbling.

I’m just man, only human, I make mistakes but given a chance I bounce back. I’m just a common man, not a superhero. To quote a song from Poets of the Fall all I wanted to do right now is, “sail into the storm, with the waves rushing over to take us (or in this case me), battle against the tide, she was the beacon of my salvation and my starlight.”

I pray that one day, I can now hear even the cries of dolphins, gaze into the light and be hypnotized in her gaze. One day. Its all up to me. I guess.

The Undertaker’s Last Bow?

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Could this be The Undertaker’s final salute?

 

There aren’t enough words to describe how surreal it is to watch the Undertaker perform in the ring. I remember watching the Undertaker when the Smackdown! brand led by Dave Batista and Booker T held a 2 day show here in the Philippines. I was there to watch two men, the late Chris Benoit (who battled with Chavo Guerrero that night) and of course the Undertaker, who at that time engaged in a bitter feud with Mr. Kennedy. Watching his entrance from the cheap seats was spine chilling. Undertaker won of course and that night he saved Batista from a beat down by Booker T, Fit Finlay and William Regal.

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The Undertaker through the years.

Fast forward to about 11 years later, he was still performing by this time he had been with the WWE for 26 years. In the world of theatrics and entertainment such as pro wrestling, lasting for 26 years in one company is amazing. Who would have thought that a gimmick that started out as an indestructible zombie or western mortician turned out to be one of the most captivating characters in wrestling history?

The Undertaker, real name Mark William Calaway made his professional wrestling debut in 1984 as Mean Mark Callous, he wrestled in World Class Championship Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling before ending up with the World Wrestling Federation (now known as the WWE). He made his WWE debut on the 1991 Survivor Series PPV, teaming up with the villainous Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Team against Dusty Rhode’s The Dream Team. Little did we know that this silly gimmick would be a staple in Professional Wrestling.

From that point on, the Undertaker (or Taker) won several WWE Titles, Tag Titles and feuded with the likes of Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, Yokozuna, Kamala, King Kong Bundy, Giant Gonzales, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Mankind, CM Punk, Kurt Angle, Diamond Dallas Page, his storyline brother Kane, John Cena and Brock Lesnar to name a few. He also participated in a lot of gimmick matches such as the Biker Chain Match, the Hell in a Cell, Steel Cage Match, Hell in the Cell, Ladder Match, Casket Match and the Buried Alive Match.

Through the years, Taker kept the gimmick interesting by adding character depth and some weird ass powers such as conjuring fire, lightning, rising from the dead, teleportation and the power to manipulate or posses someone. Beyond all those silly powers, and different gimmick types or appearances of the Undertaker showed up, we can always count that his matches were very good or amazing. His ability to create drama in the ring, provided fans of this ‘scripted’ spectacle a breathtaking experience. Undertaker was simply amazing in the ring.

Then there was WrestleMania (or Mania), WWE’s premier event. Undertaker provided a lot of memories during Mania. His matches are often the highlight of the night. For most of us wrestling fans, we always look forward to Mania, even if the match card isn’t Mania worthy. The reason we tune in to Mania every year is because of ‘The Streak’. ‘The Streak’ is defined as the Undertaker’s 21 straight victories at WrestleMania if you’re interested then here are his WrestleMania victims.

1. ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka (Mania 7)
2. Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts (Mania 8)
3. Giant Gonzales (Mania 9)
4. King Kong Bundy (Mania 11)
5. Kevin Nash (Mania 12)
6. Psycho Sid (Mania 13, for the WWE Title)*
7. Kane (Mania 14 and Mania 20)
8. Big Boss Man (Mania 15, Hell in a Cell)
9. Triple H (Mania 17, Mania 27 and a Hell in a Cell match at Mania 28)
10. Ric Flair (Mania 18)
11. Big Show and A-Train (Mania 19, Handicap Match)
12. Randy Orton (Mania 21)
13. Mark Henry (Mania 22)
14. Dave Batista (Mania 23 for the World Heavyweight Title)
15. Edge (Mania 24 for the World Heavyweight Title)
16. Shawn Michaels (Mania 25 and Mania 26)
17. CM Punk (Mania 29)

* – The streak was first mentioned

The streak lasted for 21 straight victories which surprisingly ended at Mania 30 against Brock Lesnar. I remember that match, I was in shock, I always thought that Taker would retire undefeated at Mania and that will be his legacy. It was taken away by WWE matchmakers, suddenly Mania was never the same without the Streak.

On April 3rd (April 2nd in the States), Undertaker lost for only the 2nd time in Mania, his once immaculate record of 21-0 now stood at 23-2. After getting speared for the nth time, he jobbed to up and comer Roman Reigns. After the match he left his MMA gloves, his cowboy hat and trenchcoat in the middle of the ring. He broke character and kissed his wife at ringside (he still plays a zombie with dark powers), and perhaps waved his final goodbye to the fans.

At this moment, it was hard for me to write about a man who I grew up watching, whose career was part of my childhood much like those 6 NBA Championship won by the Bulls. Undertaker is like my guest every night when he wrestles or cuts a promo or something. He was WWE’s Icon, their poster boy and their heart and soul.  I always remember those matches, the feud, the silly angle, the time you (almost) married Stephanie McMahon because you’re playing a Satan Worshipper, the Higher Power storyline, your run as the Biker Undertaker, the streak and your whole career. Thank you Undertaker, if this was the last match then I’m glad it ended at WrestleMania.

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The Man They Call Kobe

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Kobe Bryant. Rides into the sunset. Photo by Adam Zaman of Hoops Talk.

 

 

The mere mention of Kobe Bryant to a casual basketball fan would get so many reactions and associations. I, for one, once regarded Kobe as one cocky son of a b*tch, a ballhog, selfish, a once-upon-a-time rapist, The Black Mamba, and a champion. But above all that, Kobe can be described as a great competitor and the closest thing to Michael Jordan this generation ever had.

Kobe’s climb to success and immortality began in high school when he led Lower Merion to championships. By that time his HS coach saw how hardworking he is, the classic “first one in and last one out.” Most of the time, he’s the first one in the gym and the last one to leave after practice was over.

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NBA Rookies Class of 1996: (L-R standing) Marcus Camby, Stephon Marbury, Kobe Bryant, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Jermaine O’neal, Steve Nash, John Wallace, and Antoine Walker (L-R sitting) Ray Allen, Kerry Kittles and Samaki Walker

By the end of his senior year in HS which included a date with then R & B singer Brandy, Kobe decided to join the NBA, obviously following his dad’s footsteps (Joe “Jelly Bean” Bryant who once played for the Philadephia 76ers). Kobe would be joined by future all-stars and very good role players in that said draft. In my opinion, the ’96 Draft bridged the gap between the ’90’s kids and the old-time viewers, and made the NBA the global phenomenon that it is today.

Picked as the 13th pick of the draft by the Charlotte Hornets, Kobe never had a chance to take his (raw) talent to the Hornets because he was immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for veteran center Vlade Divac. According to stories, Jerry West wanted Kobe so much after seeing Kobe destroy draft prospect Dontae Jones one-on-one during the Rookie Combine (tryouts). Kobe would then join the retooled Lakers who, at that time, just drafted Derek Fisher, and had players such as Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones, Elden Campbell, and free-agent signee Shaquille O’neal. The future seemed set.

By this time, some of my friends and classmates were going gaga over the Lakers. Plus, the fact that Kobe was voted as an All-Star a year later made me raise my eyebrows, at that time, I thought he was overrated. After all, he was lackluster in the 1997 Playoffs against the Jazz, throwing bricks and air balls in Game 5.

Kobe Bryant, Game 5 1997 NBA Playoffs

Seeing those air balls and missed shots made me smile, I mean, I was a Kobe hater. I laughed my ass off with every air ball he threw. (But to be fair, watching it right now, his shooting form seems awkward and his release is a piece of shit.) Those air balls perhaps were the turning point of Kobe’s career, a lightning rod, similar to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls getting KO’d by the Detroit Pistons in 1988, 1989 and 1990. The Lakers were once again humiliated by the Jazz this time in the Western Conference Finals, though.

During the lockout shortened season of 1998-1999, the Lakers traded Elden Campbell and Kobe’s mentor Eddie Jones for Glen Rice, BJ Armstrong, and JR Reid. The message was clear: the Lakers management was set to make Kobe Bryant as their franchise shooting guard. While the regulars produced wins, they found themselves eliminated by eventual NBA Champions The San Antonio Spurs.

By the 1999-2000 season, they were primed and ready to make a run for the title. Shaq and Kobe led the Lakers all the way to the Finals. Kobe was also instrumental in beating the Portland Trailblazers in Game 7, and this further fueled my absolute hatred and contempt for the guy. His showing in Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Indiana Pacers despite a busted ankle, especially in overtime when he literally dragged the Lakers, was Jordan-like. Kids compared him to Jordan, even worse, I hated that “fact”. The Lakers would go on to win the NBA Finals in 2000, 2001 and 2002, validating Shaq and Kobe as NBA superstars.

During the Laker Dynasty years, an on-and-off-again relationship between Kobe and Shaq started. I mean, they argued like a married couple, they argued who should be the Alpha male for the Lakers. This feud also marked the end of the Laker dominance for the first half of the last decade and was punctuated by their upset loss to the Pistons back in 2004, at which time the whole team feuded, with Kobe allegedly hitting on Karl Malone’s wife. Shaq packed his bags and signed with Miami, and the once reloaded Lakers were now left with bread crumbs of a roster, with only Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher as recognizable names (wait, there’s Kwame Brown hahahaha) in the lineup. I laughed at Kobe’s failure, karma for “raping” a girl back in 2003 (which actually he didn’t do, according to the girl now), karma for all the hearts he broke during the dynasty years.

The span of 2004-2007, I’ve seen a lot of improvement from Kobe, yes, I still see him as a ball hog, but as a scorer, he was getting better, impossible shot after impossible shot. His game-winner against the Phoenix Suns in 2006 was one for the ages.

Kobe’s game tying and game winning shot vs Phoenix Game 4

By 2007, I started admiring Kobe, watching him every time the Lakers were on TV was something, it was like watching Michael Jordan if he was a ball hog (oops). Kobe was like a 50-point game waiting to happen–after all, he had an 81-point performance years back against the Raptors. By 2008, Kobe, Phil Jackson, and the Lakers found the right formula. After a timely trade that gave them Pau Gasol, the Lakers were once again serious contenders. Kobe and Gasol conspired to lead the Lakers all the way to the NBA Finals, only to go down in 6 games against the Celtics. Kobe also won his only MVP award at the end of the season. By 2009, he once again led his Lakers to the Finals, this time against the Orlando Magic. After watching Shaq get his championship with Miami in 2006, Kobe finally got one. I remember that I was in Bohol at the time he won his championship. To this day, I haven’t seen Game 5, but I was happy for him.

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The Black Mamba getting his 4th NBA Title and his first NBA Finals MVP.

Bryant’s successful 2009 campaign led to another memorable 2010. With Pau Gasol, the Lakers ran through the West and met the Boston Celtics for the 2nd time in 3 years in the NBA Finals and boy, what a series it was. In a gritty Game 7, the Lakers erased a 13-point deficit to beat Boston. Kobe won another one. I don’t know if I should be happy since I wanted the Celtics to win one again, but then again, even with bad shooting, Kobe found ways to contribute, scoring 23, getting 15 boards and 13 dimes.

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Kobe celebrating his 5th championship

I actually remember 2 days before Game 7, someone was asking for an off swap, my Friday off in exchange for her Sunday off. Game 7 happened on a Friday morning in the Philippines. She was asking if she can have my Friday, I told her no, I wanted to watch Game 7. She then replied I can watch the replay, I told her NOOOOOOOOO and left.

 

 

For the Laker franchise, 2010 was their last appearance in the NBA Finals with Kobe. Burnout for playing in 3 consecutive Finals set in or maybe perhaps they met the much hungrier Dallas Mavericks (who won in 2011) in the 2nd round. In 2011, the Laker Nation bid goodbye to the Kobe-Phil Jackson partnership.

In the waning years of his career, we still saw Kobe being competitive, we still saw Kobe making impossible shots after impossible shots. By this time, I was a Kobe fan (not a Laker fan, a Kobe fan). But his injuries late in his career robbed us of the chance of seeing him in full strength and Dwight Howard’s laziness robbed the Lakers organization and its fans of a trip to the NBA Finals, and yes, I have to add Mike D’Antoni’s dimwit coaching also robbed the Lakers of a chance of winning every game.

Come November of 2015, Kobe announced his retirement. He said he would retire by season’s end. The basketball world was in a somber moment, as one of the best players, if not the greatest, of this generation bids goodbye. Kobe even wrote a poem entitled Dear Basketball. Read it here.

Well, there go my memories of Kobe. In ending this piece, I want to tell all my readers, all 10 of you, that Kobe is perhaps the next best thing to Michael Jordan. No, that doesn’t make Kobe better than Jordan. Jordan will always be Jordan, he will never be touched, ever or at least for now. But aside from the moves Kobe copied from His Airness, those fadeaways, dunks, even free throws, Kobe’s qualities that make him the closest thing to MJ in this generation are his competitiveness, his attitude, his abominable will and never- give-up attitude. Hey, he could have left the Lakers and gone to another team after his team sucked balls from 2004-2007 but he didn’t. I guess that’s what separates him from a guy I’d rather not mention. Kobe is truly like MJ, Bird, Magic, Bill Russell, and other legends of the game. One of a kind. Thank you, Kobe.

Kobe’s last game highlights